Same-day delivery or Next-day delivery. What is a good delivery strategy for online stores?

By | Mar 14, 2016 | 1825 views Facebook Twitter Gmail Google+ Pinterest

We are living in the age of immediate gratification. We all need to get things done as quickly as possible. The same holds true in the case of consumer expectations. Consumers want more and more for less and less. So, as an online retailer what should be your delivery strategy? Same-day, one-day or the usual 3-5 days’ delivery of products? If an online retailer can meet the delivery expectations of the customers, it will certainly lead to more conversions for an online store. But it is easier said than done. It has become a trend today that before buying products, consumers first surf the net to research regarding the product features and price, then visit a brick and mortar store. If the online price of the product along with the delivery charges, is lesser than what is offered by a shopkeeper, then customers naturally buy the product online, else not. The online retailers need to strategize their product inventory and delivery models to meet the demands of the customers and make profits.

Fast, faster, fastest- it this delivery model good for SMEs?

Surely the online retailers can profit by offering fast delivery but it is right for a small online entrepreneur, startup or SME to offer same-day or delivery-in-a-day for their customers? Well, it can certainly work but it is necessary to have the requisite infrastructure and work processes for the same else this strategy can backfire. The likes of Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal can easily afford such experiments. The bigger players have automated systems,advanced technology, tie-ups with logistics firms and even their own logistics companies which help them to deliver so fast but the same doesn’t hold true for the small businesses.

Quality is more crucial than time

Startups and small entrepreneurs should focus on quality delivery first and at a later stage, they can offer faster delivery options. Usually for same-day delivery, the products reach the customers by midday local time and for in-a-day delivery, the products reach the customer the next day. So, it requires the retailers to keep the product inventory updated and logistics infrastructure firmly in place to fulfill such huge commitments. In the rush to deliver products and meet the time deadlines, quality of delivery shouldn’t be compromised. It is more important that the right products reach the right customer rather than the other way around. Avoid making errors, straining your resources and incurring higher costs of delivery. It is essential for small retailers to give a smooth experience to a customer.

Cost is more of a deciding factor than timing

Faster deliveries often come at an additional cost for the customer. Consider this. A product is available at a lesser price, if normal delivery timing is chosen and at a higher cost, if one-day fast delivery is chosen. What will be the customer’s choice? Unless it is crucial for a customer to buy a product, he will go for lesser priced delivery. So, cost is a deciding factor for the customers.

Conclusion

Today, millennials are looking for fastest delivery options. It will surely benefit the online retailers if they offer one-day or next day delivery but before doing so they should put their logistics system and infrastructure in place. Also, they should sense the need and meet the expectations of their target audience. To remain competitive and reduce abandoned carts, online retailers have to try every trick up their sleeves to woo their customers. While doing so, they shouldn’t affect the experience of the customers. Keeping a check on quality is very important.  This will go a long way to win customer loyalty and goodwill.

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